Much of our time before a funeral service is spent chatting to the organist, and it amazes us how often the family has not made provision for entry and exit music for the service.
Most organists will play for around 10 minutes before the service starts (if possible), and most have a 'pad' of suitable classical music that they will select items from. They can also do the same during the committal during a cremation (if the coffin is to be removed or concealed), and again when the guests depart.
However, we think this is a lost opportunity for families to personalise their services. We find that some live music on entry brings the guests focus on the service, whilst a well-chosen piece of music (sung or otherwise) at the end can provide a positive and hopeful end to a sad occasion.
Mezzo Kirsty fondly recalls one funeral where she sang "Danny Boy" at the end as the guests were supposed to leave, only to find them all standing and humming along. As they (finally) left the crematorium chapel, almost everyone thanked her for the chance to remember their friend in song - a lovely thought on what was a very cold and damp December day.
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